I catch my reflection sometimes and I don’t recognise the face that stares back at me anymore, it has aged a decade, wrinkled, worn, broken. Inside I’m the same scared little girl I was 20yrs ago.
So much has happened in my life, some of it I came to terms with years ago and some of it I am only beginning to work through now. Things I went through that I had never validated as ‘real’ problems due to my need to always appear like I was doing well and could ‘handle it’, things I had blocked from my consciousness are suddenly bubbling to the surface at an alarming speed and I don’t know how to process all of these feelings that are overwhelming me.
I’m feeling very sorry for myself at the moment, or at least my younger self, anger I held in because I didn’t feel justified in experiencing it at the time is starting to release, I have more understanding, regret and sadness for allowing myself to hate myself so passionately for so long.
There were so many patches of time through the years that I simply couldn’t remember, I just had a summary, a vague timeline or perhaps an image from a photograph to reflect upon, to tell me those years even existed. But now that those memories are flooding back, details, thoughts, feelings and I realise how I had protected myself from myself by locking them away. Hiding from myself allowed me to keep going, to take the next step, the next breath.
It allowed me to survive.
So why now? Why has my mind suddenly deemed me strong enough to feel those feelings, remember the pain? I feel so weak, so vulnerable.
My mood state is extremely volatile right now, flitting chaotically between euphoria and suicidal depression, I’m existing moment by moment, my thoughts race constantly, sometimes so much so that they no longer make any sense even to me, when this happens I write and write to try and empty myself of thoughts.
The words that spill from my mind like an erupting volcano seldom make any sense when I read them back later, just a collection of loosely connected themes, fears, fragments of a fractured mind.
Sometimes the voices that aren’t really voices but external thoughts, spirits perhaps, whatever you want to call the vindictive cohabitants of my soul that communicate to me telepathically, sometimes they are so intensely loud that I can’t ignore them anymore, I feel like they are slowly taking control over my body and I am terrified that I will eventually fall victim to their ill will.
I know the tablets I am supposed to take make them fade away, they have before, but that takes time and they don’t want to go away, they have promised me that if I try to destroy them they will destroy me first and while I’m okay about losing my own fight, collateral damage doesn’t matter to them. That scares me, nobody else should suffer.
Right now I’m sitting in the car outside a park, writing this as a way of trying to slow my anxiety which is swallowing me for no specific reason, I’m waiting, killing time before an important assembly at my kids school – Miss 8 is getting an award for good behaviour through the year and Mr 11 is graduating from year 6.
Life doesn’t stop for mental illness.
One foot in front of the other.